Alicia Beckford Wassink


Employment and Professional Honors

Research Projects

Publications & Talks

Professional Service



Associate Professor, University of Washington

Director, Sociolinguistics Laboratory                                                




Howard and Frances Nostrand Endowed Professor of Language and Cultural Competence


Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Department of Linguistics


Visiting Research Fellow, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica


Affiliate Professor, iLabs (formerly Center for Mind, Brain and Learning), University of Washington


Editorial Assistant, Journal of Phonetics


Research Assistant, NSF Grant to Dr. P. S. Beddor:  cross-linguistic phonetic study of coarticulation in speakers of English and Shona, U of Michigan



The Sociolinguistics Laboratory                                 

Membership:  The UW Sociolinguistics Laboratory is a significant research resource for UW Linguistics faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, both in Linguistics and other units (English; Anthropology; Romance Languages, and Literature;  American Ethnic Studies, Speech and Hearing Sciences).

Research: The lab has provided direct support to grant-funded research in which the lab director was P.I. or Co-P.I. (totalling $3.3 million).

Extracurricular training and undergraduate research:  The laboratory is regarded as a significant site of cutting edge research in the field of Sociolinguistics, particularly in the subdiscipline of Sociophonetics.  Although best-known for our work in sociophonetics, a wide range of research areas of Sociolinguistics are supported, including: language and social networks, language shift and revitalization, language attitudes, morpho-syntactic and phonological variation, regional and ethnic dialect variation in American English, and phonological restructuring under dialect contact. Since 2006, eight undergraduate researchers have been trained in sociophonetic analysis for undergraduate research credit.

Dissemination of research resources:  The laboratory website provides a gateway for dissemination of research reports conducted by laboratory members (e.g., links to the public website for the PNWE research study, ).  The lab website also makes research tools available for the scholarly community (samples of our elicitation instruments, software tutorials, recommendations regarding statistical analysis, computer scripts and analysis programs that are used for conversational and acoustic analysis).

Hosting of visiting scholars: In the past five years, the UW Sociolinguistics laboratory has hosted scholars from: University of Chicago, University of Victoria (British Columbia), York University (UK), Stanford University, The University of Oregon, Haskins Laboratories (Yale University), the University of Michigan, North Carolina State University. The laboratory director devoted time bi-weekly to meet with these scholars to provide training in data analysis techniques.

Public scholarship: Public scholarship has been advanced using laboratory resources: 1) four undergraduates received training in analysis of the features of African-American English, and training at the same time in the acoustic outcomes of Type III Malocclusion (underbite), in a collaborative project with Stanford Linguistics, featured at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, and around which a set of papers is now being developed for the journal Language and the Law.  As part of this work, we produced narrow phonetic and corrected orthographic transcriptions of two full days of courtroom testimony in the manslaughter trial of George Zimmerman. 2) The English in the Pacific Northwest Study was featured on KUOW. Deborah Wang (reporter) acquired samples of the corpus from the laboratory to disseminate on the KUOW website created for the story.


Professional Awards, Offices and Honors

2007      Nominee, Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Washington

2001      Faculty Mentor Award, Ronald E. McNair Program, University of Washington